Hunter Walker

Beach church signs issue continues

Beach church signs issue continues

Navarre’s Beachside Church may have to keep its signs down as search for proof of an agreement between the county and church leadership has not turned up. For 25 years, Beachside Church has been holding informal church services in the Navarre Beach parking lot. Read the full article in the Feb. 21 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Six figures for Gomillion’s new assistant is typical

Six figures for Gomillion’s new assistant is typical

The $115,000 annual salary for the new position of assistant to County Administrator Tony Gomillion is prompting questions and criticism. But a Navarre Press review of pay scales in nearby counties and those of similar size elsewhere in the state shows that both Gomillion’s compensation and that of his as-yet-unnamed assistant are in line with […]

County hires new Public Information Officer

County hires new Public Information Officer

Brandi Whitehurst was approved to be the new public information officer for the county at the Jan. 14 Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. The PIO is responsible for promoting awareness of the county’s mission, programs, policies and initiatives to residents of the county and the media. Whitehurst’s employment began Jan. 19. According to […]

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Planning for the sixth annual Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival next April consumed considerable time and effort from Santa Rosa County tourism development leaders before the event was abruptly doomed last week by, of all things, sand. The scheduled April 15-16 festival boasted a budget of $55,000 in bed tax funding despite a spat between […]

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

After attending more than 400 meetings of the Santa Rosa County Commission and working as its chief executive officer since 1995, Hunter Walker was honored at his retirement ceremony last week. The commissioners gave him a plaque, gathered for a group photo, patted him on the back and said fond farewells. Commissioner Bob Cole, who […]

Same song, second verse?

Same song, second verse?

This past Monday our county commissioners voted to enter employment negotiations with Tony Gomillion to replace long-time county administrator Hunter Walker. Tony has been a department director with the county for 29 years, both as public services director and as environmental control director. On one hand, his 29 years with Santa Rosa County speaks volumes […]

Former boss jettisoned county administrator candidate

Former boss jettisoned county administrator candidate

The impartial facade of the screening committee that’s considering applicants to succeed retiring Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker has an apparent chip. That’s because volunteer panel member Jack Brown, the Escambia County Administrator, essentially jettisoned a high-profile candidate, Larry Newsom, who worked as his second-in-command less than a year ago. “Jack asked me to […]

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Hoping to find a more qualified talent pool, the committee tasked with creating a short list of candidates for the county’s new administrator suggested extending the search by 30 days. “I feel the pool is not as strong as we’d hoped for, especially if the county has a desire for Florida experience,” Chris Holley, a member of […]

38 apply for SRC administrator job

38 apply for SRC administrator job

The initial list of applicants to succeed retiring Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker stands at 38 people from across the country. One high-profile local applicant is Larry Newsom, former Escambia County interim administrator who was bypassed for the permanent job in 2014 when commissioners hired Jack Brown. Newsom is currently retired and living in Milton. […]

County admin proposes property tax hike

County admin proposes property tax hike

Santa Rosa County commissioners Tuesday will host workshops leading up to approval of the county’s 2015-16 budget, which is projected to increase to  $110 million, leaving a $2.8 million deficit. County Administrator Hunter Walker is proposing that the board of county commissioners raise property taxes from a millage rate of 6.0953 to 6.4911 to “offset” the $5.7 million increase over the […]

$5K slated for new administrator search

$5K slated for new administrator search

Santa Rosa County Commissioners today are expected to approve a $5,000 proposal from the Florida Association of County Managers (FACM) to help recruit a replacement for long-time County Administrator Hunter Walker. Walker announced in April that after serving in the position for two decades, he would retire at the end of the year. His salary […]

Williamson suggests more staff

Williamson suggests more staff

Santa Rosa County Jan. 15 began accepting applications for the first allocation of local RESTORE Act funding – roughly $4.3 million. District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson suggested adding county staff to help manage up to $75 million anticipated for 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill recovery. In a Dec. 30 email, Williamson asked County Administrator […]

Commission praised for south end meeting

Commission praised for south end meeting

Over 50 locals attended the first-ever Santa Rosa County Commission meeting held at the Tiger Point Community Center April 10. A majority of attendees were residents from the south end of the county, although several drove from Milton and Pace to address current issues. “It’s great for the residents of south Santa Rosa County, and […]